Author(s): Francine Prose
This book presents an inside look at how the professionals read and write. Long before there were creative writing workshops and degrees, how did aspiring writers learn to write? By reading the work of their predecessors and contemporaries, says the author. In "Reading Like a Writer", Prose invites you to sit by her side and take a guided tour of the tools and the tricks of the masters. She reads the work of the very best writers, Dostoyevsky, Flaubert, Kafka, Austen, Dickens, Woolf, Chekhov, and discovers why these writers endure. She takes pleasure in the long and magnificent sentences of Philip Roth and the breath-taking paragraphs of Isaac Babel; she is deeply moved by the brilliant characterization in George Eliot's "Middlemarch". She looks to John Le Carre for a lesson in how to advance plot through dialogue, to Flannery O'Connor for the cunning use of the telling detail, and to James Joyce and Katherine Mansfield who offer clever examples of how to employ gesture to create character. She cautions readers to slow down and pay attention to words, the raw material out of which literature is crafted.
"The passages are.subtle and brilliant in their capture of human complexity.Prose is.a skilled.analyst of what makes them so." -- San Francisco Chronicle